This is an unusual example of a Gaelic (Irish) surname, although one that is almost unknown in its own land. It derives from O'Fearadaigh, which basically translates as the descendant of Fearadach, the latter being a personal name which comprises the elements "feara" (wood) and 'dach' - a man. The usual name form is Farday or Fereday, although Fardey and Fardey are dialectal examples. It is recorded very much earlier in England than in its native land, however this is probably as a result of poor Irish records, where many have been lost as a result of the destruction of the Public Records Office in Dublin by the IRA, in 1922. In Ireland the epicentre of the name is probably Wexford, although numbers are quite rare even there. Early examples include Thomas Fardey, whose son John was christened at St Olaves Church, London, on September 29th 1647. On September 25th 1650 his daughter Sarah was christened at the same church, however by this time the spelling of the name was shortened to "Fardy." In Ireland recordings include Francis Fardy of Wexford on December 30th 1866, and Martha Farady who married Samuel shaw at Cavan, on January 14th 1866. The name is most famous for its association with Michael Faraday, (1791 - 1867), who was the effectual discoverer of electricity. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Fayreday, which was dated March 25th 1591, a witnesses at the church of St Andrews, Holborn, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess," 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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